Category Archives: Non-Profit

Virgin’s unethical business practices against small start ups and non-profit foundations

Louisville, Kentucky, 2020-Jul-16 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — When it comes to big business versus small business, the deck is, and always has been, heavily stacked in favor of the giants, making sure it stays that way. Yes, there will always be David and Goliath stories held up as the reason for hope in these battles, but reality dictates that they are almost insurmountable obstacles in the path of a small entrepreneur.

There is, however, a more insidious and corruptive side to the competition that few, if any, really see or understand at all. The legal teams.

Companies like The Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson retain the type of law firms that see no ethical issue in destroying anything and anyone on their way, no matter the cost, the merits and the human lives and dreams destroyed along the way.

Take billing, for example. Virgin Enterprises uses Norvell IP and A. A. Thornton, type of companies that sees fit to charge by the half hour for anything that they do, including a single phone call, running up bills of around $300 per call. Yes, you read that correctly…$300 PER CALL! Equally absurdly, they charge the same to write a letter, to attend a meeting or to send an email!

 

Ok, so Virgin and Sir Richard is worth billions, they can afford these costs and who cares? It’s their choice and their wallet, right?

Well, no. They make their pray pay for it.

The thing is, as the relentless (and oftentimes frivolous) stream of trademark infringement lawsuits are filed across the globe, those costs are, almost exclusively borne not by Virgin, but by the small business that they are making their claim against.

Take the case of Wyoming start-up, VIRGINIC LLC. Virgin decided, as they have done on so many occasions in the past, that they were unhappy with the UK Intellectual Property Office awarding VIRGINIC LLC their own brand trademark “VIRGINIC”. For a little context, let’s not forget that this is the same company that sued a Virgin Olive Oil producer, the TV show “Jane The Virgin” and even a Non-profit Educational Foundation, “Las Virgenes” for children, staffed entirely by volunteer parents! If you’re like most people, this alone can leave anyone speechless. Clearly, Virgin is not afraid to throw their litigation budget around even against non-profit children care foundations.

So, Virgin took umbrage to the idea of a company VIRGINIC LLC, regardless of the fact that the UKIPO had already awarded their trademark for their name to them. Virgin attacked and yet again the UK courts decided that there was no case to be heard and VIRGINIC should keep their own trademark.

Virgin lost the case, and the subsequent appeal, with VIRGINIC being awarded the princely sum of £300 in costs, and that, in any sensible judicial process, should have been that. However, Virgin’s lawyers managed to get the UK High Court of Appeals to agree to review the appeal of the case which, upon doing so, intrestingly awarded in favor of Virgin this third time around.

And here is the fun part; When VIRGINIC, a small “David” went up against the behemoth “Goliath” of Virgin and managed to not only show that common sense is still alive and well in some legal systems, but managed to do it on a shoestring budget, whilst a mammoth task and stupendous result given the odds, it appears that the ultimately necessary penny-pinching that all start-ups are likely to be forced to adopt, is the largest chink in their armor.

The reason for this is simple: Virgin lose and the judge awards costs in the order of £300 to the start-up. £300 which Virgin never actually saw fit to pay, regardless of the fact that they spend so much time in courtrooms arguing that their rights are being infringed upon and crowing for justice. This in itself is a pointer towards where this all goes wrong. You see, they cry foul and plead for justice as if the courtroom is a sacred place where all shall find their truth. In reality, when that truth is contrary to their opinion, they simply disregard the orders of the court and find somebody else to cry to.

Now, what happens when, at the third time of asking, they manage to find themselves a “friendly” judge? Well, their costs are awarded against VIRGINIC in the sum of…

Ready for this…?

£33,000 + £10,000!
With no right to appeal any further, conveniently.

So, Virgin “loses” and the bill is £300. I would guess that the lawyers charging $300 to make a phone call would probably be happy to pay that off themselves with the cash that they dropped down the sofa last night. However, when VIRGINIC loses, all those cups of coffee that the world’s most expensive secretaries were making suddenly add up to a sum of £43,000, so exorbitant, so utterly defiant of anything even approaching a reality that is in any way sustainable, that all suddenly becomes so very clear.

Virgin and, more importantly, Virgin’s lawyers LOVE finding random reasons to drag volnurable, small businesses (and apparently non-profit foundations too) into a courtroom because it is a no-loss situation for them. They literally don’t even bother paying the measly costs generated if they lose (Virgin pays) whilst running up such absurd bills themselves that, if they win, the small business is basically financially crippled to the point where it either ceases to exist or exists only for the purposes of paying off the legal bills. Small educational foundations like “Las Virgenes” for children, staffed entirely by volunteer parents are a no match with this malice legal practice backed by deep pockets of Virgin.

Is there a happy ending here? VIRGINIC is well off its knees trying to write one as we speak. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe the Wyoming case will prove more uncorrupted justice system in the US than the UK one.

Media contact:

Zac Andrews
International Consortium of Investigative Journalism
Louisville, Kentucky

Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union’s Teddy Bears on Patrol Program Delivers 2,100 Toy Bears to Children in Need in 2018

For More than 20 Years, Teddy Bears on Patrol Continues to Bring Joy Over the Holidays.

San Jose, CA, USA — The Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union (http://www.sccfcu.org) is pleased to announce another successful year for its Teddy Bears on Patrol holiday program. This year, Teddy Bears on Patrol was able to bring 2,100 stuffed bears to cheer up needy children.

For more than 20 years, County Federal has sponsored the Teddy Bears on Patrol Program along with local law enforcement agencies, school districts, and organizations such as Santa Clara County Social Services, Parents Helping Parents, and the Rosa Elena Childcare Center (part of Respite & Research for Alzheimer’s Disease). The program was created to bring joy to children suffering from trauma or illness.

“The holiday season is a time of caring and sharing. Giving needy children their own teddy bear to love and comfort is our way of showing we care about our kids,” said Rebecca Reynolds Lytle, President and CEO of County Federal. “This has been a highly successful program over the years and our law enforcement and medical professional partners get just as much joy out of this tradition as we do. There’s nothing that brings more joy and comfort to a child in need than a teddy bear.”

New teddy bears were donated from mid-October to mid-December at County Federal branches. Cash donations were also accepted from County Federal members, as the credit union arranged to have bears purchased on their behalf. This year, County Federal employees held an internal challenge and were able to raise more than $1,000 in two hours to purchase even more teddy bears for the kids.

For more information, visit http://www.sccfcu.org/teddy.

About Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
For more than 68 years Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union has been bettering the lives of county, city, and school employees and affiliated organizations. In addition to maintaining a passionate commitment to provide knowledgeable financial solutions to its members, County Federal also maintains an extensive community outreach program, providing educational support through its scholarship program and dedicating time and resources to a variety of regional non-profit organizations. County Federal offers a comprehensive line of financial products and preferred rates and is committed to empowering, enriching and enhancing members’ financial lives.

For more information, visit http://www.sccfcu.org.

Media Contact:
Marilyn Avalos
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
408.282.0782
mavalos@sccfcu.org

Home Page Top Content

Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Promotes Montero and David to New Executive Roles

County Federal Names New Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Experience Officer.

San Jose, CA, USA — The Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union (http://www.sccfcu.org) today announced the promotions of Jennifer Montero and Divine David to new executive roles.

Jennifer Montero has been named Senior Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer. Jennifer has been serving as SVP/Organizational Development. She has extensive knowledge in the field of human resources management and specializes in high-growth operations and restructuring. Jennifer previously served on County Federal’s Board of Directors. In her expanded role, she will be responsible for providing strategic leadership in all human resource functions, learning and talent development initiatives, and special programs. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from San Jose State University.

Divine David has been promoted from Senior Vice President/Chief Lending Officer to Senior Vice President/Chief Experience Officer. Divine has a long history in banking, having worked with San Francisco Federal Credit Union, Provident Credit Union, Golden 1 Credit Union, and Bank of the West. In her new role, Divine will be responsible for enhancing the member experience and improving membership services. She holds a Management degree from Golden Gate University.

“Both Jennifer and Divine have been instrumental in helping us maintain the standard of excellence that members expect from County Federal” said Rebecca Reynolds Lytle, President and CEO of County Federal. “Expanding their roles allows us to have an even greater impact on the member experience and help us improve and expand our financial services.”

About Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
For more than 65 years Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union has been helping county, city, and school employees and affiliated organizations with financial services to help them realize their dreams. In addition to maintaining a passionate commitment to provide knowledgeable financial solutions to its members, County Federal also maintains an extensive community outreach program, providing educational support through its scholarship program and dedicating time and resources to a variety of regional non-profit organizations. County Federal offers a comprehensive line of financial products and preferred rates and is committed to empowering, enriching and enhancing members’ financial lives.

For more information, please visit http://www.sccfcu.org.

Media Contact:
Marilyn Avalos
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
408.282.0782
mavalos@sccfcu.org

Home Page Top Content

Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Sponsors Santa Clara Teacher Recognition Celebration for 23rd Year

County Federal Continues to Partner with the Santa Clara County Office of Education to Honor Teacher Excellence and Commitment.

San Jose, CA, USA — The Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union (http://www.sccfcu.org) is proud to be a sponsor of the Teacher Recognition Celebration organized by the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) again this year. This marks the 23rd year that County Federal has partnered with the SCCOE to recognize teachers throughout the county for their educational excellence and commitment to their students, school, and the community.

The 2018 Teacher Recognition Celebration, held October 22, marked nearly 50 years of Santa Clara County honoring educational excellence, making the SCCOE Teacher Recognition Celebration one of the oldest and most prestigious in the state. The Celebration is held every autumn to applaud the outstanding work of teachers from every Santa Clara County school district. This year, 31 educators were honored for their outstanding work, as well as five teachers who received the STEM Teaching Award from event co-sponsor Texas Instruments.

“Educators are the unsung heroes of our community and we are proud to support Teacher Recognition Day as part our commitment to Santa Clara County,” said Rebecca Lytle, President and CEO of County Federal. “We have been serving county, city, and school employees for more than 65 years but we seldom have this type of opportunity to publicly recognize the professionals who work to make our community such a wonderful place to call home.”

The SCCOE created the Teacher Recognition Celebration to increase public awareness of the vital role educators play in helping youth and shaping the community, and to acknowledge the achievement, sacrifice, and training required of today’s teachers. Recognition also helps strengthen ties between students and teachers and promotes greater understanding between generations.

About Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
For more than 65 years Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union has been helping county, city, and school employees and affiliated organizations with financial services to help them realize their dreams. In addition to maintaining a passionate commitment to provide knowledgeable financial solutions to its members, County Federal also maintains an extensive community outreach program, providing educational support through its scholarship program and dedicating time and resources to a variety of regional non-profit organizations. County Federal offers a comprehensive line of financial products and preferred rates and is committed to empowering, enriching and enhancing members’ financial lives.

For more information, please visit http://www.sccfcu.org.

Media Contact:
Marilyn Avalos
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
408.282.0782
mavalos@sccfcu.org

Home Page Top Content

Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Adds Two New Vice Presidents to Leadership Team

County Federal Adds Senior Staff to Credit Union As Part of Ongoing Commitment To Extend Superior Services to Members.

San Jose, CA, USA — The Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union (http://www.sccfcu.org) today announced the expansion of its leadership team with the addition of two new Vice Presidents:

Carol Presar is the new Vice President of Learning & Talent Development with responsibility for employee training and human resources support. Carol has an extensive background in developing operational policies and procedures, instructional design, and enterprise-wide talent development. She previously worked with 1st Franklin/Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America) and holds a degree in Business Administration.

Steven Naylor is the new County Federal Vice President of IT Infrastructure. Steve has two decades of IT experience, including financial systems design and management. He comes to County Federal from Technology Credit Union and holds a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University as well as a Business degree from West Valley Mission College.

“The success of any credit union hinges on the quality of service to its members, and as part of our commitment to our members, we seek out corporate leaders who share our vision and dedication to excellence,” said Rebecca Reynolds Lytle, President and CEO of County Federal. “As our new Vice Presidents, Carol and Steve bring extensive experience and fresh expertise to help County Federal enhance our member services and improve the membership experience. We are delighted to welcome these credit union veterans to the County Federal family.”

About Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
For more than 65 years Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union has been helping county, city, and school employees and affiliated organizations with financial services to help them realize their dreams. In addition to maintaining a passionate commitment to provide knowledgeable financial solutions to its members, County Federal also maintains an extensive community outreach program, providing educational support through its scholarship program and dedicating time and resources to a variety of regional non-profit organizations. County Federal offers a comprehensive line of financial products and preferred rates and is committed to empowering, enriching and enhancing members’ financial lives.

For more information, please visit http://www.sccfcu.org.

Media Contact:
Sandy Roque
Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union
408.282.0722
sroque@sccfcu.org

Home Page Top Content

“I Love Arts: Ms. America 2017 Oksana Vovk is a special guest at the Newport Beach Sculpture Exhibition, Phase III in her home town of Newport Beach”

Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, 2017-Nov-03 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Ms. America 2017 Oksana Vovk attended Newport Beach Sculpture in Civic Center Park Exhibition Phase III near Newport Beach City Hall on Saturday, October 28, 2017.

Ms. America 2017 Oksana Vovk with artist Steven Reiman at the Newport Beach Sculpture Exhibition, Phase III

“This was a long-awaited event for all Newport Beach residents”, Vovk said shortly after the opening ceremony took place in the Community Room and City Hall open session chambers, where everyone in attendance had a chance to learn more about the amazing new art coming to the Civic Park. “Mayor Muldoon is doing such a great job in bringing arts to the City and meeting the artists in person during and after the ceremony was just very special. Nine new sculptures will decorate the Civic Park and give our City a great makeover”.

“Flight” a sculpture by Steven Reiman at the Newport Beach Sculpture Exhibition, Phase III

Vovk won Ms. America 2017 title with her two-fold platform to fight autism and promote organic living. She is determined to make a difference during her year as Ms. America 2017 by positively influencing her community and getting more women involved in community service and helping others.

Ms. America Pageant is open to women 26 years of age and up, single, divorced, widowed or married, with or without children. For more information about the Ms. America® Pageant please visit Pageant’s official website at: www.MsAmericaPageant.com. The Ms. America ® Pageant is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington DC since February 2000 and ranks as one of the top pageant trademarks in the United States.

“My new favorite sculpture was made by California artist Steven Reiman and is called “Flight”, Vovk continued. “I arrived at the ceremony early and had a chance to walk around the park and look at each sculpture up close, and “Flight” just took my breath away. Such a powerful statement embodied in this piece of art made of stainless steel and bronze. According to Mr. Reiman, the symbolic bird soaring through a ring of the sun represents a future of wonder with the random letters that cover its form questioning the human experience and how we impact our future. I met with Mr. Reiman and his lovely wife Ruth right after the ceremony and I was truly touched by his kindness and great passion with which he spoke about his creation. I Love Arts and now I have a new favorite sculpture in my city created by an amazing artist”, Vovk said.

Follow Ms. America 2017 appearances on Facebook at Oksana Vovk – Ms. America 2017.

END

CONTACT: Mariah J.B.
MS. AMERICA® PAGEANT
Website: www.MsAmericaPageant.com

Volunteer Firefighter Alliance Reaches GuideStar Platinum

Allows Donors to Focus on Progress and Results.

Knoxville, TN, USA — Volunteer Firefighter Alliance (http://www.supportvfa.org) today earned the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. By sharing metrics that highlight changes Volunteer Firefighter Alliance is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation like overhead ratios.

“In accordance with our long-held belief in being transparent about our work,” said Alan Bohms, Executive Director, “we are excited to convey our organization’s results in a user-friendly and highly visual manner. By updating our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile to the Platinum level, we can now easily share a wealth of up-to-date organizational metrics with our supporters as well as GuideStar’s immense online audience, which includes donors, grantmakers, our peers, and the media.”

To reach the Platinum level, Volunteer Firefighter Alliance added extensive information to its Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, Volunteer Firefighter Alliance has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate Volunteer Firefighter Alliance.

“I encourage you to visit our profile on GuideStar to see what we’re all about,” added Bohms. “We’re thrilled that our GuideStar Platinum Nonprofit Profile and its associated benefits help us better communicate our organization’s exciting initiatives at a global scale.”

Media Contact:
Alan Bohms
Volunteer Firefighter Alliance
423-999-7333
info@supportvfa.org
http://www.supportvfa.org

5 Gyres Partnering with Forward Reality on Groundbreaking VR Project

“The Pacific Garbage Patch, A Seagull’s Perspective” will educate millions on the impact of plastic pollution.

Carlsbad, CA, USA — 5 Gyres is partnering with Forward Reality, as an advisor on a Virtual Reality (VR) project to educate people about the serious issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.

The “Pacific Garbage Patch – A Seagull’s Perspective” is a VR experience, that focuses on the Pacific Garbage Patch and the effects of plastics on marine and bird life. It is a compelling interactive experience that brings this critical issue to people’s attention.

Users will view the Pacific Garbage Patch, its origins and affected regions, from the perspective of a Seagull, with voice over narration that explains the content and issues. By viewing multiple locations (the gyre, Midway Island, plastic factories, fish market) players can understand the origin of this plastic garbage, the impact it has on the world around us and the steps they can take to help solve the problem.

Sherri Cuono, CEO of Forward Reality stated “We’re pleased to have the participation of the 5 Gyres Institute on this important project, their expertise on this issue is invaluable”. She added, “Forward Reality will be launching this experience in museums worldwide as well as making it available to the public on multiple VR platforms.”

“Solving the problem of plastic pollution demands innovation,” said Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, 5 Gyres Executive Director. “We’re honored to share our experience through this exciting new platform to drive awareness and action on this critical issue.”

The “Pacific Garbage Patch – A Seagull’s Perspective” will be released later this year.

ABOUT 5 GYRES
The nonprofit 5 Gyres Institute has been fighting plastic ocean pollution since 2009. Beginning in 2010, 5 Gyres began a series of scientific firsts by researching plastic in all five subtropical gyres, as well as the Great Lakes and Antarctica. In 2014, the organization convened eight scientists around the world to publish the first global estimate of plastic pollution in our ocean: 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 270,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide. 5 Gyres’ paper on plastic microbead pollution in the Great Lakes inspired a two-year collaborative campaign that culminated in a federal ban on microbeads, which President Obama signed into law in 2015. In August, 5 Gyres embarked on its 17th expedition-this time to research microplastics and nanoplastics in the Arctic Circle. More information is at http://www.5gyres.org.

ABOUT FORWARD REALITY
Forward Reality is creating amazing interactive VR experiences that educate, entertain and inspire. Our focus is on VR with a Purpose. Founded by industry pioneers, we are an independent studio dedicated to using VR technology to change the world for the better. Through our combined decades of research and achievements in video game production and 360 video, Forward Reality is creating the next generation of media-rich VR entertainment. More information about Forward Reality can be found at http://www.forwardreality.com.

Contact:
Ginger Goss Mukherjee – ginger@5gyres.org
William Volk – business@forwardreality.com

Dr. Michael K. Obeng to Receive 2017 GUBA Humanitarian Spirit Award on June 3, 2017 UK

Dr. Michael Obeng will be presented with the GUBA Humanitarian Spirit Award on June 3, 2017 in London, England.

Beverly Hills, CA, USA — Top Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon to the Stars – Dr. Michael K. Obeng, is on the move to make changes in global health and the world of reconstructive surgery, will be honored in London, England as he receives the GUBA Humanitarian Spirit Award 2017.

Born into poverty in Ghana, Dr. Obeng persevered over unimaginable obstacles and overcame all odds to arrive at this culmination of professional and personal success. He takes pride in treating each patient like family; his deep compassion and care for his patients is derived from his humble beginnings. Dr. Obeng travels to third world countries to donate his surgical skills through his non-profit, R.E.S.T.O.R.E. Worldwide, Inc. In addition, Dr. Obeng advocates for the underprivileged in the United States by educating patients on safe breast reconstructive surgery options available after undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Dr. Obeng has garnered prestigious awards including a research grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the coveted, Herman B. Barnett award in Surgery and Anesthesia. He has extensive international publications regarding breast aesthetics, augmentation and reconstruction. When he is not lecturing on plastic surgery, he can be found donating his time with R.E.S.T.O.R.E. and delivering his award-winning motivational speech, Perseverance.

Dr. Michael Obeng will be presented with the GUBA Humanitarian Spirit Award on June 3, 2017 in London, England. On behalf of the GUBA Committee and GUBA Advisory Board, the British High Commission, Ghana, is so excited to select Dr. Obeng for GUBA 2017 Awards recipient for his contribution to the standard of living improvements of the underprivileged, in the developing world, by reconstructing deformities and, also, other provisions through R.E.S.T.O.R.E. missions. GUBA 2017 nominees and recognition.

About GUBA Awards
GUBA (Ghana UK Based Achievement awards) is a non-profit Business & Innovation Awards instituted to celebrate, acknowledge, and support Ghanaian based businesses and individuals in the UK. The GUBA Awards is the first ceremony of its kind to specifically recognize Ghanaian achievement and the only awards to be endorsed by the Ghana High Commission in the UK. It is intended as a platform that “showcases and celebrates excellence and achievement within the British-Ghanaian community as well as the outstanding and valuable services provided to Ghanaians in the UK and Ghana”. More recently, the organizers have sought to also involve the wider African communities as they attempt to gain international attention.

The Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) Awards is an annual awards ceremony based in Britain which recognizes the ‘hugely significant’ contribution that British-Ghanaians make to society. The awards were founded in 2009 by UK-based Ghanaian TV personality Dentaa, with the first awards ceremony taking place in London, England, in October 2010.

About R.E.S.T.O.R.E. (http://www.restoreworldwide.org)
R.E.S.T.O.R.E. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit medical service organization that provides free reconstructive surgery and related medical services to children and adults with disfiguring deformities from birth, accidents and diseases. Many developing countries shun those afflicted with disfiguring deformities and look upon them as outcasts or “freaks”. Often their own families hide them from the general public to spare them from either being ridiculed or physically harmed because of their disfigured appearance. Although there is an overwhelming need for plastic surgery in developing countries, these types of surgeries are not available because there are no personnel trained to provide the necessary surgeries. As part of the organization’s mission they seek to educate and train local physicians in the techniques necessary to perpetuate their initial work to continually benefit more people for years to come.

For more information: Crystal Mello | crystal@mikoplasticsurgery.com | (310) 275-2705 ext. 105

For local interviews in the States/UK or otherwise: Lawrence Phillips | lppreventsentertainment13@gmail.com | (310) 619-8048

Fitting The Description Statement on Call For Formal Investigation of West Hollywood Sheriff Department by Entertainer Wyclef Jean

All of us must be willing to take our stories forward for there to ever be justice.

West Hollywood, CA, USA — Fitting The Description founder and executive director Charles Belk issued the following statement about the detainment and handcuffing of entertainer Wyclef Jean because he was “fitting the description” and his call for a formal investigation into the matter by the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department.

“It’s inspiring to hear that Wyclef Jean is calling for a formal investigation. More attention needs to continuously be brought to those incidents like Wyclef’s, because it gives society a chance to possibly disclose the underlying cause. We seem to focus on only those incidents where an apparently innocent Black man ends up dead, and at that point, while you may or may not have some video, you indeed only have one side of the story, because, unfortunately, the other side can’t be told. I was fortunate to be able to tell my side of the story, and to see someone with the celebrity status of Wyclef be willing to take his story forward in search of the truth is what we always should do. All of us, need to take our stories forward. Don’t think that just because you’re not a famous entertainer or a “Hollywood Producer”, that people won’t listen. They WILL listen. Social media is definitely listening, and it has millions of ears! We have to all be willing to get M.A.D., and Make A Difference. I strongly encourage the new commander of the West Hollywood Station, Captain Sergio A. Aloma, and West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister to honor Mr. Jean’s request and launch an investigation immediately.”

On August 22, 2014, Charles Belk was mistakenly identified as an armed bank robber because he fit the description of a tall, bald, Black male. Although Belk was held on the curb in handcuffs for 45 minutes, and then arrested and held under a $100,000 bail for 6 hours, he was later released as innocent. Since his arrest, Charles Belk, a long-time West Hollywood-adjacent resident, launched a nationwide effort, #AutoErase, through the non-profit Fitting The Description, to educate and inform those about the perils of wrongful arrest records, and engage legislation to alleviate the burden and costs incurred by the innocent to remove those arrest records. The legislation has been signed into law in four states and is now current legislation in 14 states.

About Fitting The Description
Fitting The Description, a 501.c.3, tax exempt, non-profit organization, was established to help build awareness of wrongful detentions and arrests that occur each day because an individual “fit the description.” The organization helps educate and inform others about the perils of wrongful arrests records, and advocates for alleviating the burden and costs incurred by the innocent to remove those arrest records.

Media Contact:
Mark Williams
Fitting The Description Inc.
PO Box 93181
Los Angeles, CA 90093
213-632-6390
mwilliams@fittingthedescription.org
http://www.fittingthedescription.org